076 – Emily Blumenthal of Handbag Designer 101 – From the Bag Backwards

Curated handbags…

Emily Blumenthal, Founder of Handbag Designer 101 Emily Blumenthaland The Handbag Awards and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Fashion Institute of Technology, joins Rob Sanchez (Ralph and Remington [Episode 22]), and guest host Charles Beckwith (American Fashion Podcast [Episode 45]) on-location at the 2015 FashInvest Fashion Tech Investment Conference in New York.

Blumenthal describes largest selection of curated handbags made by independent designers, why the genesis of the handbag awards came from a need to monetize, her own start as a handbag designer, and how she bootstrapped her line, patented silhouettes, grabbed licensing deals, got on QVC, started teaching, how jury duty led to a book and launching her site to sell it, and why she did the opposite of everything a major online awards founder said. She reviews her background in media ad sales, how her company’s success is based in part on collaboration, brand ambassadorship and popups, why she claims the largest contact list of independent designers, the conversion to a B to C model, not charging for industry validated awards, and why she started selling bags.

Why it matters that handbags are an extension of a woman’s body, dressing from the bag backwards, the movement of tech toward more integration into designs, the sweet spot of pricing and how the way people shop has changed, introducing an integrated shopping channel element, and bringing the economy of scale to the masses. Plus trends in innovations, why fast-moving technology can lead to becoming quickly obsolete, and the importance of paying attention to whether a consumer would pay a premium for something.

Off the Grid Questions explore construction paper, having six different business by 21, making more money working at a newspaper than anyone else, the right island vs. the big island, and a fight with an Australian.

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